The coming of IoT (Internet of Things) has seen the smart city become a key field for IoT development. Many developed cities around the world, including Taipei, have responded to the requirements of a fast-changing society by making "smart city" a key objective in their development plans. Several wireless communications technologies have emerged as a result of rapid developments in IoT. The favored technology is LPWAN (Low-Power Wide-Area Network), due to its long range, low power consumption, and low cost. LoRaWAN, operated on the unlicensed radio spectrum, is among the LPWAN communications technologies considered to be one of the most potential.
The LoRa Alliance has acquired more than 460 members since it was founded in March 2015, and is one of the fastest-developing alliances in the technology industry. Members are working closely to promote the LoRaWAN protocol. The LoRaWAN protocol offers unique advantages in terms of bi-directionality, security, mobility, and positioning accuracy. The technology mainly operates in free global radio spectrum, including 433, 868, and 915 MHz. The four main components are the terminal, base station, server, and cloud. Bi-directional transfer of application data is supported to provide a simple communications system with long-range, long-battery life, high capacity, and low cost. The main applications for LoRaWAN are smart power/water meters, smart agriculture, smart factories, and air-quality monitoring where small amounts of data are collected. Transmission range is between 3~5km in urban areas and up to 20km in open areas. China, for example, has in one instance integrated IoT technology into manhole covers for subsidence or hazard detection.
TUV Rheinland is the first independent third-party laboratory accredited by the LoRa Alliance, and one its founding members as well. Its laboratories in Pleasanton (US), Leek (Netherlands), Yokohama (Japan), Seoul (Korea), and Taipei (Taiwan) can all provide EU/US Class A testing services for LoRaWAN. International buyers can therefore apply for certification at the laboratory closest to their location. LoRaWAN testing is relatively simple, covering a mere 10+ items. In addition to compliance with regional spectrum, most of the testing is focused on product interoperability and LoRa Alliance product compliance.
The maturing of IoT wireless connectivity and a mobile-technology application environment has led to IDC and Gartner forecasting that the total number of IoT smart-connected devices will grow to 25 billion by 2020. Many ICT vendors are now squeezed into unlicensed radio spectra, and they have placed their bets on different technology alliances and are waiting to see which technology will prevail in the mainstream. TUV Rheinland currently has a presence in mainstream wired and wireless sensing network standards such as Bluetooth, zigbee, Qi, LoRaWAN, Sigfox, MirrorLink, DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface), and KNX (building automation technology), and thus can provide vendors with the full range of testing and certification services.
TUV Rheinland's Taiwan telecom laboratories have garnered many "first and only" achievements in Taiwan on Bluetooth, zigbee, DALI, and KNX communications technology certifications: first to be approved by the Bluetooth Alliance; only Bluetooth laboratory capable of conducting Bluetooth IC testing; first and only zigbee and KNX approved laboratory; only DALI laboratory in Taiwan (only 4 in the world), and authorized to perform testing for the new DALI 2 standard. Wireless laboratories in the Greater China region are located in Taipei, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. These laboratories are approved by the relevant accreditation bodies in the EU, US, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Egypt, and Sudan. Please contact local laboratories for the latest communications technology certifications.